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Zuru Smashers series 2 review

We have always liked collectibles and between us we have managed to have a go at a lot of the different ones available.

We were sent a Zuru Smashers Bus and an 8 pack of the Smashers. I thought it might be too young for me but I actually really liked them!

Sam loved the bus and barely let anyone else get a look in- it opens up to game with a toilet and catapult which he thinks is really awesome. You can use the catapult to shoot your characters into the toilet- which is harder than it sounds and quite addictive! It comes with a poo for the game that Sam keeps trying to give to my Mum- it’s really funny because she doesn’t like it at all and refuses to touch it… I think we will be creeping her out with this for a long time!
The actual Smashers themselves come in Smashball eyeballs so are pretty spooky. You throw them to make them smash to find out what figure you have got, they are all a bit grim and creepy looking and you can check them off on the list to see if you have collected them all. There are even ultra rare ones which are see-thru. We all had a few Smashballs to do each and Lottie was really jealous because one of mine was in actual slime which was brilliant. She is completely obsessed with slime, so a character hidden in it is just about perfect.

I like that you can put the eyeballs back together and smash them time and time again. We thought these were really good and have been all playing together to shoot the characters into the toilet- not many collectibles work for all of us at the same time. My Mum liked the fact that because there was the bus and that the eyeballs could be put together these have a lot more play options than most collectibles so she thinks they will be a better way to spend our money than a lot of the others. We all really like that she finds them a bit disgusting!

Zuru Smashers are aimed at children age 5 plus and I would say they are perfect for kids around about 5-8 but will still be enjoyed by older children too, they start from £1.99 and go up to £19.99 and can be found at Argos, Smyths, Tesco and The Entertainer. They would be perfect for Halloween- if you were having a party you could give out Smashballs as prizes for games!

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Disclaimer: We were sent the Zuru Smasher Bus and a set of the Series 2 Smashers for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own

 

 

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Festival Fun with Geronimo!

Geronimo Festival Review by Lottie age 6 with some help from Mummy

We all went to Geronimo Festival at Knebworth the other weekend and it was brilliant. There was lots to do for children of all ages and we could have easily filled more than another whole day there!

We found lots of things to look at as well as quick activities to do and longer shows to watch.  Sam and I went on donkeys which we loved, they were really sweet. We visited a parrot tent and saw lots of different parrots who were very funny. Luke went on the Gamer bus and had a go at real life Pacman and arcade games which he said was really fun.

  

We all tried the old fashion board games, some of these were quite hard but most were good to try, they looked really nice too.

Sam and I had fun in the rocking horse tent, there were so many different types, we spent ages racing them all!

Luke, Sam and I all loved the hammocks, they were so comfy, we could have fallen asleep there! I wish we could have one at home!

 

There were different things to get creative with, including bees to make and learn about and LEGO and Magformers to build models with, so lots of things to keep you busy.

There was even Box City where there was loads and loads of cardboard boxes and people who could help you make anything you wanted, a man helped Sam make a car he could sit in and it was really good.

We had fun playing with the musical instruments, they had lots of different things you could make music with and some of them were really unusual, like an old suitcase and a tin bath.

 

We watched the Bubble Man who did amazing things with bubbles and Sam even got up and sang a song with him which was really very cute.

Luke watched Sergeant Wallbanger  doing a show about Anne Bonny the pirate that he really enjoyed, he said it was very interesting and quite funny.

We saw some of the shows on the Geronimo main stage, where there was lots pf people we recognised like Katy from I can Cook and Justin Fletcher was going to be there the next day. We especially liked Andy and the Odd Socks, who were brilliant but our absolute favourite show was not on the main stage. It was the Flying Seagull Project, they are a charity who work with children to make them smile whatever situation they are in, so they work in hospitals and refugee camps as well as schools and doing birthday parties. The man doing the balloon show was so funny, he had all the children and their grown ups laughing and joining in and then got us all up and dancing. We even got chance to play with their unicycles, stilts and tightwires which was brilliant fun.

We brought some tokens and went to the fairground, Sam and I had fun on a few of the rides, I was a bit disappointed that the hook a duck lady didn’t take the tokens and my Mum had already used most of her money so we didn’t get to do that. We think if there is going to be tokens then it should be for all the things in the fairground.

The only other thing we were not very sure about was that Sam wanted to go on the bouncy castle but when we got there we found out that you couldn’t just pay for a short go you had to pay £7.50 for a wrist band for the whole day which meant we weren’t allowed to do it as it would have been more than £21 for us all and we probably would have only done once. We think it would be good if they did it for 10 or 15 minute sessions as there is so much to do you don’t really need to be able to keep going back to the same thing. Other than these two small things Geronimo Festival was brilliant

There was lots of places selling all different foods and they looked amazing. We just had an ice-cream because we had taken a huge picnic but there was lots of choice. There were plenty of nice places to eat our picnic too.

Geronimo Festival at Knebworth only went on during the day but if they ever make it a camping one like the Cheshire version then we would definitely go for both days- camping would be fun!

We didn’t even get round to the adrenaline zone which Luke would have loved, as there was just too much to do! We would definitely recommend the next Geronimo Festival to anyone looking for a fun, family festival.

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World Tetris Day!- Tetris Dual Review

Did you know it’s World Tetris Day today?!

We have been celebrating with a game of Tetris Dual this evening which my best friend and his brother have recently been reviewing for us. I really liked the look of Tetris Dual– it’s a strategy game for two people and it’s based on the original Tetris computer game. You can play in two different ways- either as a speed game or a countdown game.  You get a light up game grid connected to an electronic display which shows you which shape piece you have to play next and all the pieces in two different colours, you drop the pieces into the grid to try and block your competitor. You also need to score the most points possible by matching your colours, or even better making a row before pressing the button and passing the turn back to the other person.

Lottie and I have really enjoyed playing the game, it’s been great fun and is quite challenging. Our friends loved testing it too, we all liked the fact that it’s a game you have to think about, my friend said he and his brother liked trying to beat the clock to complete their turn. We all thought it was very straightforward to set up and although the instructions seemed a bit complicated it was actually very easy to understand how to play once we got going.

My friend’s little brother is the same age as my sister Lottie and they both found it a bit tricky to start with to work out the best way to use shapes to make a row and not leave any gaps but they soon worked it out (and now Lottie likes making shapes and rows even when we are not actually playing!) Tetris Dual is really good for getting your brain working and thinking a bit ahead.

Set up and working out the rules

 

Their Mum said there was a lot of giggling and that it was good family fun! We have found it the same and my Mum likes that Lottie and I can just go off and play together without arguing over this game which isn’t always the case!

My friend said he would like the grid to be a bit bigger but his brother wouldn’t change anything about it at all. The only small issue we have had is that you can’t take it apart again so you can’t store it easily in it’s box but this isn’t a big problem.

We all rated this game really highly- it’s looks like Ideal have created another good game in Tetris Dual, we think it is suitable for age 6 plus with someone to help guide them to start with or for age 8 upwards, it is a game grown ups would enjoy too.

Lottie has been having a sneaky play with the shapes before our game!

 

Enter our competition for your chance to win a game of Tetris Dual to challenge your own family too!

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Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of the game but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Please note the post contains an affiliate link, should you choose to purchase through this Lottie and I will receive a small amount of commission at no additional cost to you.

 

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Lexicon-Go Review

We have been enjoying playing Lexicon-Go the past few weeks. If you haven’t seen it then it’s a word game where you start with ten letter tiles each and then have a pile to swap one from. Everyone creates a word either using their tiles or swapping one of the tiles from the swap pile, (you have to shout SWAP as you do it) or by attacking another players word by either adding to it or swapping a letter. You can’t actually change the order of the letters but you can add it new ones or add an ending, so adding ‘er’ or ‘ing’ can work well for this, but if you swap letters out you need to take the letter out from the ones you have swapped back into your pile so it counts as part of your score.

 

If you manage to get rid of all your letters first then you shout LEX-GO and win that round if all your words are correct. The first player to win 5 rounds in total is the winner. There is a longer version of the game you can also play where  at the end of each round the other players add their score on the leftover tiles together, if it is over 100 then they are out straight away and the others carry on until only one person who is left and then the last person left in is the winner but we have been playing the quick Lexicon-Go version as that works really well for us.

We like that Lexicon-Go is a fast and noisy game, we liked shouting out and racing each other. We have enjoyed that it doesn’t take ages and ages to play and that it makes you think. Sometimes it is the luck of which letters you get to start with but mostly it’s about how quickly you can see what you have and think about how or where you can use it. This game also makes you think about how words work and the best way to change them and make them into something else.

I liked the tiles as they seem like they will last well, we did think the instructions seemed quite complicated to start with but we soon got into it once we started playing and it made much more sense as we were going along. Because it is a word game you need to be quite good at spelling and coming up with ideas so I would say it is probably best for children age 8 plus but it does help you learn so children age 6 plus would also enjoy it against children of the same age.

It’s a good game because it is very portable- it’s quite a small case and all zips away nicely and we have taken it with us to play on our trip to the Isle of Wight and our stay in France. It’s good because you don’t need to take lots of extra things with you to be able to play- although if you are like us you might need a dictionary to avoid arguments about whether the random letters someone tried to put down are real words!

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Lottie Loves… Rubik’s Junior Animals

By Lottie age 6 with help from Mum!

My big brother, Luke, has a Rubik’s cube, it’s really hard to do and I get very cross with it when I can’t make the colours match up- although I do like to mess it up when he has been trying to do it!

I have been having lots of fun playing with the new John Adams Rubik’s Junior toys. They are all shaped like animals and are really cute! They are the same bright colours as the cubes but they are just right for younger children to play with.  You just twist them up to make it as difficult as possible and then you solve the puzzle and get the animal back to it’s normal shape.

We were sent one of each of the toys from the John Adams Rubik’s Junior range– a bunny, a puppy, a kitten and a bear. They were all really sweet and my little brother Sam decided he would really like the blue puppy (well it was all blue until we twisted it!). I picked the bunny and we decided to give the bear and the kitten to my best friend and her little sister.

It’s National Pet Month so while we have just been enjoying playing with our Rubik’s pets, my friend and her sister have been showing theirs off to their lovely dog, Poppy. They have been enjoying cuddling up with Poppy while they solve the puzzle, it’s a great toy to sit and play with when everyone else is busy and you want something fun to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have all loved playing with our Rubik’s Junior toys– they are really hard to put down and I have shown mine to lots of other friends who all had fun solving the puzzle. It is much less frustrating for children my age than trying to do a cube but it is still interesting enough to keep you busy. My little brother is very nearly three and he loves playing with his puppy version, it’s a bit tricky for him if we twist it too much but he has lots of fun twisting and turning it and just playing with it in his games, I think he will be able to do it really well soon. I think the Rubik’s Junior toys are perfect for children between about 4 and 9, although Luke keeps taking it to play with too and he is 10!

We are very excited to be able to give away one of these fantastic Rubik’s Junior pets to two lucky winners worth £9.99 each thanks to John Adams and Playtime PR

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Please note prizes will be sent out directly within 28 days of the winners providing us their delivery address.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Rubik’s Juniors range in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions remain our own.

Please be aware this post contains affiliate links, if you choose to purchase through this this would enable Luke and Lottie to earn a small amount of commission at no additional cost to yourself.

 

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If I were Headteacher for the day!

If I were Head Teacher for the day I would give each child £50 to buy something fun for the playground or to use in the classroom during wet play. Lunchtimes this week have been really boring at school in the snow storm because all my class can do during wet play is draw on scrap paper so I think we need some games and stuff.

I would let children wear whatever they liked for uniform as long as it was easy to run around in.

School wouldn’t start until 10am so we didn’t have to rush around in the morning and before the lessons started we would have a basketball match- children v’s teachers.

For lessons the children could vote on whatever they wanted to learn about, we would have interesting books like Tim Peake’s ones and be able to watch YouTube videos about different topics.

I would have the lunch menu as burger and chips or sausage, chips and beans and for pudding there would be a choice of donuts, éclairs, pasties, cake, pancakes, ice cream, chocolate mousse and apple crumble.

In the afternoon the children would start their project. It would be making a film and George Lucas would come to help us.

After school it would be a cinema evening watching Star Wars.

I think my friends would like it if I was Head Teacher for the day!

 

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An Out of This World Birthday Party!

Lottie and her friends have been learning about Space at school and so when one of her friends invited her to a Space Party at The National Space Centre in Leicester she was beyond excited, she went last week and had an amazing time. She decided to write about it herself.

Lottie, age 6, reviews her visit to The Space Centre in Leicester

I went to my friend’s party at the National Space Centre and it was brilliant. There was about 10 children for his party altogether and we got to look round in a big group.

We saw lots of astronaut things and a space toilet. We had fun making weather. We followed where the buses and planes were in Leicester using satellites. We tried making sound waves which was funny.

Shouting to make sound waves

 

My little brother came with us and he really liked driving the Rover that is used to collect samples. We both thought the replica space station was brilliant, but that the astronauts shower was very tiny!

 

We had lots of fun looking round with our friends and then we went to the party room where there was space table cloths and lots of balloons to play with and a sign up to wish my friend Happy Birthday. We had really yummy chocolate milkshakes and hot dogs with chips. My friend’s Mum had got him a rocket cake which was brilliant.

We then went to the planetarium and watched a film about how the world started. This was one of my favourite bits. I really liked it, it felt just like you were flying through space.

My really very favourite part though was when we went up the tower and saw a real rocket.

I want to go back to the Space Centre soon, I know Luke would really like it too.

A Note from my Mum.

I hadn’t realised you could have parties at the Space Centre and this was one children’s party I was actually keen to go to!

The party itself was brilliant, so interesting and so much to see and do but the centre was incredibly busy and this made it quite stressful for the parents at times. I struggled with a toddler who wanted to be running off and looking at everything and keeping track of older children so I would recommend the Space Centre as being best suited to children over 5 if you are outnumbered!

We were lucky that we could eat our lunch in the party room as people were queuing for a long time to get access to the restaurant so this would be a consideration if you were visiting as a family.

Parking was fine, with an overflow car park that we got into easily at a cost of £3 for the whole day and the gift shop had a good selection of reasonably priced souvenirs as well as some more expensive educational toy options.

Other than being so very busy the Space Centre is really interesting for both adults and kids and well worth a visit and this certainly was one of the best children’s parties I have been too!

 

 

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My Favourite Things- Lottie age 6

Luke wrote out all his favourite things the other day and now he has asked me all the same questions. Here are my answers:

My favourite film-

Frozen

My Favourite Food-

Sausage and Chips

My Favourite Television Programme-

Barbie and Miraculous

My Favourite Board Game-

Monopoly Junior and Scrabble Junior

Favourite Author-

Roald Dahl

My Favourite book-

Charlotte’s Web and anything by Roald Dahl especially the poems

My Favourite computer game-

Disney Infinity

My Favourite Chocolate-

Creme Egg

My Favourite Sport-

Dance

Favourite collectible

Shopkins and Zomlings

I wonder what I will chose for the answers next year?

By Lottie age 6, help from Luke

 

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Family Game Night- Quick thinking with Think Words

We have been enjoying our family games nights again the last few weekends and last week tried out Think Words by John Adams.

This game is aimed at age 8 plus but we all had lots of fun playing it together and whilst Lottie needed a few more seconds she didn’t find it too difficult most of the time.

In the Think Words box is 80 cards and a spinner with all the instructions you need. You get  a choice of 7 different versions to play so this can keep you busy for ages! Each card has a large letter on one side and four different coloured categories on the other. We started off with the straightforward game of putting 8 letter cards around the spinner and taking turns to spin it, the first person got the colour and everyone had to try and think of a word for that letter from the colour category that it matched- if you were the first one to shout it out then you got to win that letter, at the end of the game the person who had the most letters was the winner.

We liked the fact there were so many different ways to play and that you could also make your own rules as well. Lottie did find a few of the categories a bit hard but I think the age rating of 8 is about right.

Think Words is a good game to take away with you too as it packs up small, we took it to our friends at Christmas which was fun- we liked that you could play it just as well with 2 players as you could 8- although it turns out it is perhaps best not to make up your own rules with 8 people as it can lead to arguments! Even with a bit of bickering this the game was really funny especially when you were trying desperately to think of an answer really quickly.

The only little slightly bad thing we found with this game is that it doesn’t store very well in the box (it’s got a cut out bit to display the cards) and we had to find a different little box to store it in nothing too bad but worth being aware of so you don’t loose your cards!

I am looking forward to playing with some other friends after school next week- although I will steer clear of making up my own rules so we are all still friends at the end of it!

Family Fever

Disclaimer: We were sent the Think Words Game to review but all thoughts are our own, you can keep up with the latest from John Adams Ideal Games by following their Facebook page here

 

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Family Game Night- Fun with Telestrations

Now that Christmas is over we have started up our family games night again on a Saturday evening, We make sure we have plenty of snacks and drinks ready and get set up for a fun night. The other week we played Telestrations by John Adams for the first time. I had seen the adverts for it and thought it looked fun so was excited to give it a go. Initially the instructions seemed a little bit complicated but we soon got to grips with it and were drawing our pictures and passing our books on over and over again and it was actually really easy.

Telestrations is for age 8 plus so we added a bit of extra time for Lottie to do her drawings because she is younger and we let her pick the colour topic for the drawings as some were a bit complicated for her to understand but otherwise just got on with it.

 

You pick a colour on the card and everyone writes that word on the first page of their book (they have already put their name in it) and then you set the timer and begin drawing the word. When the timer rings you pass your book to the next player whether you have finished drawing or not. They then get a certain time to try and guess what they think you have drawn. They write their best guess on the next page before passing it on to the next player. The book then gets passed to the next player who reads the guess and draws what they see that guess as before their time runs out. Finally you pass it back to the original player who gets to see what the last drawing is and what people have guessed their original artwork to be. This is where it gets really funny- some of the guesses are no where near the original drawing- it’s a bit like playing a drawing version of the game where you whisper and see what the person at the end of the circle hears and it is even funnier.

You then rub out the drawings and start all over again with a new card. I like the way it is all reusable and you can play over and over again without wasting loads of paper.

I don’t think you have to be good at drawing to play this game. In fact it’s funnier if you are not. I think this will be a brilliant game to play after a family dinner and is good to play with lots of people. It’s a great game because people of all ages can play it together and everyone is able to join in equally so it’s a real family game.

We are excited to be able to give away a game of Telestrations to one lucky family- we are sure you will enjoy it as much as us so to get you started we are asking you to us the link below to tweet us using the hashtag #telestrationsontwitter your guess as to what my drawing below is!

You can keep up to date with all the latest information from IDEAL Games by following their Facebook page.

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